Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

City mulls wider bike lanes on N. Willamette Blvd

Posted by on July 9th, 2014 at 11:43 am

N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-5

The biking conditions on N Willamette Blvd leave a lot to be desired.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Could this finally be our chance to get a bit of an improvement to the biking environment on a key north Portland corridor? It might be, if the Portland Bureau of Transportation moves forward on a plan to widen the bike lanes on N. Willamette Blvd.

The move comes as city road crews embark on a major re-paving project that will rebuild 2.36 lane miles between N Portsmouth (near University of Portland) and N Woolsey (near Columbia Park). The project was announced last week and began on Monday.

Upon hearing about the paving project we asked if any lane re-striping was being considered. PBOT has a history of widening and re-striping bike lanes when roads are re-paved. Since striping has to be re-done anyways, these projects are a good opportunity to assess capacity needs and make needed changes.

In the case of Willamette Blvd, we were particularly interested because the current design of the street is outdated and dangerous for many road users.

Here’s how the street looks today:

Policymakers Ride-22

N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-8

Advertise with BikePortland.
N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-6

N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-2

N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-3

N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-9

Back in 2011, PBOT had money set-aside to improve bicycling access on Willamette. Currently, the bike lanes are 5 feet (northbound) and 4 1/2 feet wide (southbound) — measurements that are below PBOT’s current standard of 6 feet.

Willamette’s 40-foot cross-section currently devotes 30 1/2 feet to standard lanes and a parking lane. PBOT analysis had shown that the 7 1/2 foot parking lane (on the north side of the street) had “low utilization” and that there were lots of other places residents could park (including driveways and side-streets).

The plan was to create a “low-stress” bikeway by reconfiguring the lanes so that there would be more room for bicycling.

Unfortunately, when PBOT staff asked homeowners along the street what they thought of the plan to use the parking lane for a new bikeway, residents (surpise, surprise) scoffed. The plan was then shelved and nothing has been done since.

Earlier this week, PBOT media relations staffer Diane Dulken told us:

“There may be an adjustment to the width of the existing five foot bike lanes. We are exploring the possibility of expanding the five foot wide bike lanes to six feet by narrowing travel lanes to 10 feet wide from 11.”

Dulken also shared that University of Portland plans to make changes to a segment of the road at their main entrance (between N Haven and Fiske). Currently the bike lane drops in that location to make room for a bus stop and a right-turn lane. The plan is to “install a shared bus/bike lane and sharrows on that stretch,” says Dulken.

Plans to widen the bike lanes have not yet been finalized. Stay tuned for an update when we hear the decision.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you.

  • Spiffy July 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    the bike lanes need to be widened so there’s room to go around all the joggers…

    Recommended Thumb up 17

    • Justin July 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      As a person who jogs Willamette, absolutely.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Spiffy July 9, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    “PBOT staff asked homeowners”

    I really wish they’d quit asking what people want and start doing what is right…

    you got 100 years of free parking, now the city needs the room, deal with it…

    Google satellite view shows 15 cars along the entire arc of Willamette… less than 1 per block… all of them have off-street parking available…

    Recommended Thumb up 48

    • Kari Schlosshauer July 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      This: “start doing what is right”. It’s like asking kids if they want to keep their cookie or not.

      Recommended Thumb up 22

      • Kirk July 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm

        When will PBOT start asking people that bike along this corridor if they would like their cookie to not only taste better, but also if they would like their cookie to not scare the shit out of them when they eat it?

        Recommended Thumb up 13

      • Dwaine Dibbly July 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        If PBOT will do what is right, we should take up a collection and buy them cookies for a year.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Anne Hawley July 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm

        Totally. They should be framing these kinds of questions more like “Would you like to take your nap wearing your yellow shirt or your blue shirt?” Either way, the kid’s getting a needed nap.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

      • El Biciclero July 10, 2014 at 9:31 am

        Or start renting/fee permitting street space for parking. Is that cookie worth $100 per bite?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • davemess July 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      The problem is figuring out “what is right”. What is right to the minority of us on this blog does not necessarily fit the values/needs of the rest of the city all the time.

      I highly encourage everyone who reads this site to got to at least one transportation meeting and see how many different opinions and priorities there are in the room. It’s pretty eye opening when you get out of your own little bubble.

      Recommended Thumb up 11

      • Spiffy July 9, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        define “transportation meeting”… I’ve been to the neighborhood outreaches and it’s like a live version of the OregonLive comments…

        lots of people with opinions… very few with needs…

        Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Scott H July 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        There are plenty of people here that are guilty of being trapped in that little bubble, to be sure. But nonetheless, PBOT staffers should not be asking joe schmo how wide he thinks a traffic lane should be, it’s not his area of expertise. PBOT staffers have the means to determine a safe an effective street design on their own, it’s their job after all.

        I wouldn’t mind having a red carpet that led from my doorstep to my office, but you can see how my opinions and desires aren’t really useful for the community as a whole.

        Recommended Thumb up 14

        • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm

          I completely agree. But in reality most of us on this site are just joe smokes with slightly more interest knowledge than the average person.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm

            Wow, thanks autocorrect!

            Recommended Thumb up 6

      • Caleb July 9, 2014 at 9:14 pm

        Perhaps I misinterpreted, but I took Spiffy’s use of “what is right” as “what PBOT determines works safely and efficiently for all users” instead of what he or other Bikeportland commenters would prefer.

        Recommended Thumb up 5

        • davemess July 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm

          If so, then that sounds great.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spencer July 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      I just rode SE 52 w/ narrow road lanes AND bikes lanes and ITS AWESOME. Willamette ane EVERY other street with bike routes needs this ASAP. SE STEELE would be a great place to follow the Willamette redesign.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Nick Falbo July 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm

        I’ve been on the hunt for a while for a solid reason that travel lanes should be larger than 10 feet. I haven’t heard one yet.

        The most compelling argument comes from transit agencies and large vehicle operators whose vehicles mirror-to-mirror are up to 10.5 ft. I understand that in situations with large vehicles are passing in different directions that it’s more comfortable with wider lanes, but I don’t think the minor increase in comfort for those operators part of the time is worth the cost to livability and safety to everyone else all of the time.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • Greg July 10, 2014 at 3:32 pm

          Aside from wide vehicles (commercial trucks, RVs, etc), the other reason for wide lanes is for higher speed traffic. Since every time I drive along this road, the average speed is over the legal limit, I’d like to see narrower lanes to encourage less speeding.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Bald One July 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

          Don’t expect Tri-Met bus operators to slow down as they pass a cyclist at a narrowed pinch point bike lane to avoid near crushing of the cyclist or sucking them into their air wake… I’m talking to you #35 and #85 buses on N. Interstate under the Larrabee bridge.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

      • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        Yes the 52nd bike lanes feel especially roomy with plenty of space to avoid the door zone on the west side!

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • AndyC of Linnton July 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Oh man. If there ever were a route that was ripe for a good low-stress bike facility, this would fit the bill to a t.
    If PBOT can’t remove parking on THIS stretch of roadway that has very little of its parking used, I don’t know if I’m confident they’ll be able to remove parking in the higher capacity areas around the city.
    Putting a world class bike facility here should be shooting fish in a barrel.
    A wider bike lane in the meantime is appreciated and long overdue.

    Recommended Thumb up 26

    • davemess July 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      PBOT just removed parking on a long stretch of SE52nd (that was also extremely underutilized). It actually has been done in this city.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Spiffy July 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

        I used to ride that section at least once a week because I was only 2 blocks away… but I moved east 20 blocks last week and haven’t been on it yet… ):

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Adam H. July 9, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Build a protected bike lane!

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Rob Chapman July 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      That would be great there Adam. Willamette gets driven like it’s PIR. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a car that wasn’t speeding at the flashing speed sign, not once.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Spiffy July 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    why are they still making 10′ lanes when that’s how wide the buses are? it leaves only a couple inches on each side of the bus before its mirrors swing into the adjacent lanes…

    every watch the #14 go up Hawthorne and keep straddling the lane line the entire way up? yes, you have, all the time…

    stop making lanes that don’t fit city vehicles… the 8-80 crowd is afraid of being hit with a passing vehicle mirror…

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • oliver July 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      If you start making 12′ lanes GM and FOMOCO will start making 11ft SUV’s

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Alan 1.0 July 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        Those won’t sell too well in Oregon: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/818.080

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Unit July 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        If you want to get rid of 10′ lanes, expect to see most of the city’s bike lanes removed, since that’s how they made the space…

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Mark July 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      I also notice the buses straddling the lanes on Hawthorne, basically using both of the travel lanes in a given direction. The truth is that Hawthorne is not wide enough for four travel lanes AND parking on both sides of the street. Maybe we could remove the parking. Ha!

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Reza July 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Looking forward to improvements. The bike lane gap near UP has been a thorn in my side for a long time. The lane should also be extended past Alma all the way to Richmond.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Carl July 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Agreed. Wider bike lanes are swell but I’m most glad to see there’s an interest in fixing the spot where there are no lanes at all — right near where Kipp Crawford was killed (http://bit.ly/1n8tiUY).

      I’m disappointed, though, to see that the proposed solution is not a dedicated lane but, instead, a shared bus/turn lane. I thought the city wanted to reserve sharrows (and shared environments) for low-traffic neighborhood greenways.

      A route is only as good as its weakest link. What’s being proposed here does not adequately address Willamette’s weakest link.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson July 9, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Long past time to remove the parking on Willamette and make a decent bike/ped facility there. That 7.5 feet would make possible a MUP on the bluff side, that would allow walkers and runners to go from U of P to adidas without crossing a single street, and get us much safer bike lanes. Let’s do it.

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • Chris I July 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      This. Remove parking, and add a physically separated MUP on the west side. This could be a world-class cycling facility.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Bald One July 14, 2014 at 11:45 am

        I’m not sure a MUP for cyclists is the correct alignment. Cyclists need to get through this area, and creating a MUP with all of the MUP-obstacles and yield to pedestrians/skateboarders/dog-walkers/3-abreast joggers/public art, garbage cans/, etc. Let’s keep the cyclists moving in their own dedicated bike lane on this stretch. Perhaps a buffered and striped double bike lane for travel and passing in the same direction, both dedicated to cyclists, on each side of the road.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • davemess July 9, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Does anyone know why this paving project is happening in the first place? Every picture up top shows the pavement in great shape (esp. for Portland!).

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • TJ July 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      I’m curious as well. I ride Willamette several times a week at a variety of times on a variety of bikes and find it to be low stress already. I’ll agree the southbound side is not have comfy as the northbound, but still pleasant. For Portland, this seems a low priority for both paving and cycling infrastructure.

      Regarding the parking: During big UP games, on street parking becomes sparse, creating problems for residents deep into the lesser streets. I know the “human powered is the future” crowd will scoff, but getting to UP from the majority of Metro and ‘Couve is not easy via bike or public transit. Too, the student ghetto is less populated in the summer –yesterday’s ride to note parking is not the same as fall, winter, or spring.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the project.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Spiffy July 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      from OregonLive…

      PBOT says Willamette is classiified as a “street of city wide significance.” That means it is more likely to be plowed in the event of snow, used as an emergency route, and also more likely to be hit by preventative maintenance efforts like this one.

      City work crews inspected the road and found that it needed repairs now or it would fall into a worse condition. Incidentally — the road work on Willamette is now slated to be extended 5 additional days.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

        This always makes me a little suspicious (and of PBOT in general).

        Recommended Thumb up 3

  • meh July 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    The section being considered for work has sidewalks. There’s no reason to run in the bike lane there. Besides it’s illegal

    Improper position upon or improperly proceeding along highway

    • exception
    • penalty

    (1) A pedestrian commits the offense of pedestrian with improper position upon or improperly proceeding along a highway if the pedestrian does any of the following:

    (a) Takes a position upon or proceeds along and upon the roadway where there is an adjacent usable sidewalk or shoulder.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • davemess July 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Is this actually considered a highway though?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Alan 1.0 July 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm

        “”Highway” means every public way, road, street, thoroughfare and place, including bridges, viaducts and other structures within the boundaries of this state, open, used or intended for use of the general public for vehicles or vehicular traffic as a matter of right.”

        Recommended Thumb up 5

        • John Lascurettes July 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm

          That’s pretty much the official designation nationally as far as know. It’s definitely defined the same way in California’s Vehicle Code.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Brian July 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Don’t mandatory sidepath the runners, using the sidewalk there sucks because drivers pull out way past their stop line and runners have to choose between 2 bad options

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm

        But just because those people disagree with you doesn’t automatically make them wrong. Or their perceived “needs” any less important that yours. Sure if there is substantial evidence one way or the other it’s easy to argue against/for an opinion, but many areas become a little gray (like this particular situation).

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm

          Sorry this got placed incorrectly. It was meant to reply to Spiffy above.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        I was going to say the same thing. We freak out about the sidepath law, but when the shoe is on the other foot in this situation……

        Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Spencer July 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      As a Physical Therapist, runner, and biker (and driver for those counting) IMO, I can say without a doubt that asphalt running is 99.9% the same as concrete running. Most people still have an inch of rubber cushioning them. It drives me nuts that people think they’re saving their knees/joints by running on asphalt instead concrete. Its not safer to run in the middle of the road or bike lane, and it certainly isnt better to run on the off side of the crown of the road. If they cared that much they should run on a rubber/bark/grass surface instead.
      ps +1 for west side MUP

      Recommended Thumb up 12

      • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        Wow, thanks autocorrect!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • davemess July 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm

          Sorry, I’m having a rough day with posting.

          I was going to say that a lot of runners I have known will sometimes choose the street just for the flatness of it. No ups and downs from driveway cutouts or curbs. I usually take the sidewalk to run. But sometimes if I’m doing faster intervals the street can be a little safer for other pedestrians or even myself.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Robert Ping July 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I have lived near Columbia Park for ten years, and we have two bike-riding boys, now 12 and 7. The southbound lane is dangerous, period!!

    Cars routinely speed through the corridor, 35 miles per hour is not a safe speed for bicyclists (or runners) and a 4 foot lane is indeed substandard, especially given the amount of motorized traffic. I know a lot of area residents who don’t ride to work downtown, or to the movies, or whatever, because of that lane. However, on the northbound side, there is a defacto buffered lane anyway because HARDLY ANYONE EVER PARKS THERE! Nearly every homeowner on the stretch from Rosa Parks to the turn at UofP has 100′ in front AND 100′ on the side for parking – I only have 50′ total in front of my house on Kilpatrick…total…and that is plenty.

    Parking has always felt like the free American “entitlement”, but it needs to stop, and Willamette is the perfect place to start making changes. In this case the extreme minority ‘wants their four pieces of cake and eat it too’, leaving hundreds of people per day taking personal risks to ride south on Willamette, like me and my family, or changing their lives to avoid risk, which we do many times as well.

    The tyranny of the minority, in this case, is parking. Build a cycletrack, let the neighbors whine for awhile until they realize how much better their front yards and property values are after traffic is calmed and the street becomes a nicer place to live and play. Eventually the City gets to make it a feather in the cap. Everyone wins.

    Now let’s talk about a singletrack trail along the length of the bluff! Anybody with me?

    Recommended Thumb up 22

    • TJ July 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Again, I’m always for improvements. But Willamette is likely not ever to be the safest (or most direct) route for kids against using the off-streets (the same ones we’re supposed to use instead of Sandy, Belmont, Hawthorne, Powell, etc).

      I’d really much prefer to see improvements to dirty 30. A road that is also considered a top priority. Or improvements to the mess that is now Williams in rush hour. Or easier access to Marine Drive from Concordia. Or making deep NE and SE, Barbur, and Swan Island rideable. Or a xc/cx single track down the bluffs.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • JeffTB July 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        There are no side streets available to use going east west. The north south side streets run between Lombard and Willamette without cross connections between Columbia Park and Wabash. The options are riding Lombard, Willamette or the sidewalk.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • TJ July 10, 2014 at 8:54 am

          It is entirely possible to weave through the side street. Is it has fast and smooth for a cyclist going 20-25 mph compared to Willamette? No. Is it efficient at the slower speeds children tend to go. Yes.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Scott Mizée July 10, 2014 at 8:58 am

            TJ, that is only correct for PART of Willamette Blvd. The part I am MOST CONCERNED about is between Woolsey and the Wabash/Bryant intersection. There ARE NO SIDE STREETS available in this section of Willamette Blvd.

            Recommended Thumb up 6

  • spare_wheel July 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    when PBOT staff asked homeowners along the street what they thought of the plan to use the parking lane for a new bikeway, residents (surpise, surprise) scoffed

    parking subsidies >> safety of human beings.

    pbot’s priorities are not my priorities.

    Recommended Thumb up 17

  • Scott Mizee July 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    As a neighbor living one block off of this section of Willamette, I STRONGLY agree with Lenny Anderson and other’s statements above. This should be a dedicated separated use cycling facility. It is a major gap in the neighborhood greenway system. There is no way for me and my four kids to easily bicycle from our home to the Wabash & Bryant neighborhood greenway entrance without riding very close to fast moving automobiles.

    PBOT: Please fix this now while we have the opportunity.

    Recommended Thumb up 18

  • Redhippie July 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I live directly on Willamette close to St Johns and ride the section in question about 4 round trips a week.

    The reason the parking is under utilized is due to the number of car accidents. We had one car totaled and the other one hit 3 times in 3 years. The neighbor had their car hit 4 times in 3 years. There have been multiple roll-overs and house crashed into. This is due to the excessive speed and use of the road as a thru way by folks coming in from Scappose or Hillsboro via the St. Johns Bridge. Also, lots of impaired driving at night.

    Speed is a huge issue here and the city has really refused to do anything about it. There have been multiple inquires and requests for speed bumps, but the Fire dept and police state that they need it as an alternative to Lombard (a state highway) to quickly get out to the peninsula from NE. I have personally gotten Amanda Fritz office involved at least once in the issue. When I drive, I usually set the cruise control for 30 Mph and there is usually a line of ten or more cars behind me, many of whom peal off up to Lombard. Any redesign needs to consider calming features. I suspect if you calmed the speed, people would want their parking spaces back.

    A good indicator of the problems are the features put in at the Bryant St. intersection as part of the bike boulevard. notice how all the plastic bollards meant to separate lanes and designate bike turning areas are mowed over by cars. Does PDOT even try to replace them anymore? The only effective feature on the street is the pedestrian island by the UP entrance but that is at the expense of the bike lane and I am frequently shoved out by commuters going to work in the morning.

    Sorry, I’ll stop venting now but this is an area that really needs to re-designed commensurate with the amount of bike traffic and local access and re-route the through traffic back to Lombard (state highway) where it belongs. I would vote for a separate bike lane to keep my small children and myself safe.

    Recommended Thumb up 16

    • TJ July 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      I can get behind leaving the street parking, which adds space except during big UP events, adding more calming features, and diverting traffic to Lombard. Of course viewing Lombard as a State Highway just outside of St. Johns is not entirely fitting.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Andre Hesser July 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I grew up in front of UP right along the stretch where the bike lane ends. My parents still live there. They do not have a driveway and neither do most of the homes on the block. It would be a hardship on many of the residents that live in this small stretch of Willamette. I am also a cyclist and honestly don’t find this stretch “treacherous”. There are many other parts of Portland that are much worse. That doesn’t justify not doing anything about it but I wouldn’t want to see parking removed for self righteous cyclist that hate cars.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • John Liu
    John Liu July 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I will echo a previous comment – I find Willamette from St-Johns to Rosa Park to be a pleasant, low stress ride.

    There are a few spots where the bike lane is narrow, not due to parking but due to a narrow roadway. If the travel lanes could be narrowed a bit to make larger bike lanes, that would be good.

    I do not think we should spend a lot of money to create a separated cycleway here. The city has a very tight budget for bike infrastructure. Since so many here and elsewhere oppose the street fee, the budget is unlikely to get any better. There are roads that need the scarce dollars far more than Willamette.

    For example, the scary narrow parts of Greely. Take a ride down Willamette and then continue down Greely. Where do you feel in more danger? I’d say clearly on Greely.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • spare_wheel July 9, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      there is absolutely no funding for a separated facility so it’s not going to happen. and those who think it should happen (without an external grant) should spend some time cycling in outer east portland.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • redhippie July 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Quite frankly, I find Willamette more dangerous than Greely.

      You have to look at how each is used. Greely (south bound) is a fast down hill that is pretty much for experienced commuters. I ride Interstate North bound going home.

      Willamette is for all riders including small children. With Greely you have more professional drivers than tend to be aware of the areas of confluence with swan island and respect cyclist more. I can tell you how many times I have almost been clipped on willamette by someone checking their cell phone, cutting a corner on one of the curves or generally being impaitent.

      I’de be happy with just a dozen speed bumps to slow people down.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • MaxD July 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    IMO, Willamette between Rosa Parks and UP is a high speed short-cut used by people avoiding Lombard. I thin this should converted to a one-way, one-lane nothbound with parking. Then the southbound lane could be converted to a nice MUP. After UP, use Portsmouth to Vanhouten or Bluff St to extend the trail along the river to Cathedral Park. I know that eventually the trail will go along the river behind UP, but that section will need to cantilevered and is likely decades away.

    If emergency services need this street to remain 2-way, then by all means remove parking, stripe nice wide bike lanes or an m.u.p. AND ALSO reduce the speed to 20/25 mph AND enforce it. The speed is the greatest danger, and the City could remedy that today if they had the will.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Adam July 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I don’t understand why there is parking on Willamette Blvd. Practically every single residence there has a long, private driveway. I bike along it, and in the span of about a mile, will see maybe two cars parked in the designated parking strip. Talk about a waste of public space!! Meanwhile, the bikelane is a measly four-feet or some such thing. I say remove the on-street parking, and get a cycletrack in.

    I have similar feelings about the bikelanes on SE Bybee. Big, expensive houses with long private driveways, and about two cars parked in the parking strip for the entire mile I bike on it. Meanwhile, the bikelane past the golf course is teeny, and showered in broken glass and tree branches.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Suburban July 13, 2014 at 7:49 am

      You are correct. My (unpopular) vision for this potentially beautiful street is : 1. disallow all parking for the entire street. All of it. 2. Remove and do not install paint of any kind on the street. 3. Post and enforce a speed limit… with cameras if needed.

      There is SO much asphalt out there! It’s black and beautiful, and the transportation dept. would have everyone believe it’s so limited. Who gets 6 feet, 10 feet 12 feet, flashing lights, 8 to 80, joggers, truckers?- There is no problem here that needs fixing except a refusal to expect civil behavior in a civic space. What hubris of traffic engineers who expect to “improve” or “accommodate modes” treats all road users as idiots who are incapable of being safe …and now, trained thus, many of those road users are more than ready to fulfill this low expectation—requiring more surveys, engineering and paint inside 50 years. Save striped pavement for tennis courts.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • gutterbunnybikes July 9, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    All this really means is that bike lane on Willamette is getting too crowded (yes a good thing) to contain the active transportation users, and it’s spilling over and impeding the auto traffic.

    But Bike lanes aren’t for bikes. They’re for keeping people from slowing down the auto traffic.

    If it was really about bike and pedestrian safety, their would be a lowering of the speed limit – which isn’t very likely.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Caleb July 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      “If it was really about bike and pedestrian safety, their would be a lowering of the speed limit – which isn’t very likely.”

      In order to reflect actual circumstances, I think your statement could perhaps use the word “only” between “was” and “really”.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Joe Adamski July 9, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    an opportunity exists here to do something incredible. The street has heavy use from cars,bikes and pedestrians and runners.The north side of the street has many streets intersecting with Willamette. The north side of the street has on street parking which is protected fiercely by some residents. While the street is undergoing re-design, consider moving all bike and pedestrian activity to the south (bluff) side of the street from Portsmouth all the way to Rosa Parks Blvd. This would provide a safe and useable bike and pedestrian facility with only one driveway at the University of Portland to consider. Connection to the now low use remainder of Willamette from Rosa Parks to Killingsworth would create a essentially car free environment for 2 miles, completely avoiding the turning traffic at every block coming off Willamette. A bit needs to be sussed out, but if not now, ever?

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Dave July 10, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Lane, Schmane, lay a heavy policing hand on MOTORIST BEHAVIOR. Screw the Constitution–police those the harshest whose vehicles have the greatest effect on others.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Scott Mizée July 10, 2014 at 9:20 am

    By the way… does anyone know the plans for STP coming through here on Saturday and Sunday? Will there be new pavement laid down at that point? or will people have to detour?

    oh, and A BIG THANK YOU to PBOT for signing a bike detour down Princeton! That is a great solution during construction!

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • MaxD July 10, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Hawthorne has 9-foot lanes east of 39th, til 20th or maybe even 12th

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • spare_wheel July 11, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Hawthorne is a disaster in need of a road diet.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • John Liu
    John Liu July 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Hawthorne is straight, so you don’t have the issue of a long vehicle (bus, commercial truck) negotiating curves. And with those narrow lanes, buses in lane #2 (the one next to parked cars) routinely spill over into lane #1 (the lane closest to the centerline). Otherwise they’d be tearing off mirrors etc.

    No good striping an unworkably narrow lane just to have cars, buses and trucks driving beyond the lane lines.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bald One July 14, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I’m not sure a MUP for cyclists is the correct alignment. Cyclists need to get through this area, and creating a MUP with all of the MUP-obstacles and yield to pedestrians/skateboarders/dog-walkers/3-abreast joggers/public art, garbage cans/, etc. Let’s keep the cyclists moving in their own dedicated bike lane on this stretch. Perhaps a buffered and striped double bike lane for travel and passing in the same direction, both dedicated to cyclists, on each side of the road.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Bald One July 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

    UP entrance needs to be re-worked. Always get honked at by impatient cars trying to get past me at the intersection where there is a traffic calming pedestrian island. Cars actually try to pass around me at this traffic calming island, and get really upset that I don’t yield the lane after the bike lane ends for 100 yards. Remember that poor guy who was killed here a few years back? His ghost bike has faded away, but the type of aggressive driving and poor road design still live on in this spot.

    Recommended Thumb up 3